Family Influence on Identity
One's personality is formed by the family in which they are born and raised. Tabb claims that a child's sense of self is shaped by the atmosphere in which they are raised (1). According to Tabb, the family atmosphere usually plays a vital role in shaping the personality of such children as they mature into teenagers and later adults (1). In other words, the ways in which family members function as a social unit and connect to one another have a significant impact on children's socialization, self-esteem, and cultural identity. Furthermore, other findings have found that boys and girls are inclined to imitate their parents' views of gender stereotypes (Tabb 1).
Effects of Gender Stereotypes
For example, in some families, boys are raised knowing that there are certain chores for them while others are for girls. This makes those kids grow and embrace those stereotypes throughout the course of their lives. On the other hand, those kids that grow in families that do not show such chores groupings end up with better, higher self-esteem and are more flexible in their relationships (Tabb 1).
My own example is another powerful illustration of how families shape the self-identity of their children. I'm from Dominican Republic; my parents are from their too. However, my grandmother was from Spain while by grandfather was from Taino. My grandparents were farmers. What is so interesting about it is that my parents also became famers and this has made every member of the family to value and like farming. This is a legacy that was started by grandparents. They raised their kids including my dad from the profits they generated from their farms. My dad informed that he was ushered into farming by his dad at a very tender age of five. He would accompany my grandfather to the farm every day. Through those numerous farm visits, he became acquainted with the way farms are run and managed and he has since become a successful farmer himself. Similarly, my parents are very passionate about farming and they have always made sure that all of us in the family get to know the worth of farming. In fact, my dad wanted me to pursue a course in agriculture but I had a different opinion. This does not mean that I dislike agriculture. However, I'm still a lover of agriculture and with my course, I can still delve into it at different levels.
The Importance of Family in Self-Identity
Further illustrations are given by Holden who indicates that the search for self-identity is an ongoing, life-long process (1). Holden indicates that the family has a huge impact on the development of one's personality (1). Holden further illustrates that raising kids that are responsible and think for themselves begins at the family level (1). This often shapes their beliefs as well as choices in their adulthood. It has been shown that a family that is solid and united boosts a kid's confidence. Such an environment gives the kids the courage to make decisions and choices independently. Additionally, various family activities such as camping, sharing family chores, and taking part in community service instill different skills in kids which become important in their adult lives.
The Significance of Family Traditions
For that matter, traditions play a crucial role in families. They provide a sense of identity; they tell a story about a given family (Holden 1). They also teach the kids where the family came from and at the same time, give insights into family religious and cultural history. In fact, previous studies have supported this notion. It has been found that kids that are well endowed with their family history tend to be more confident and well-adjusted than their peers who lack such information. Secondly, family traditions are believed to offer comfort and security (Holden 1). They help shape kids' feelings during challenging times and that eventually makes them more confident. Similarly, family traditions have been found to play an integral role in strengthening the family bond. Research findings have indicated that there is stronger connections and unity in families that take part in traditions frequently than their peers who do not. In addition, family traditions instill positive values in children; they also pass both religious and cultural heritages (Holden 1).
The Link Between Self-Identity and Family
From the class readings such as the chapters on 'The People in Me', 'Delta', and 'Everyday Use', there is further evidence that self-identity and family are directly linked. It has been shown that self identity and family history, values, and practices are directly linked. However, given that the process of acquiring identity is facilitated through the central role of language in socializing us to our place in the social world, especially with regard to initially establishing our individual identities, the intrinsic inability to establish a stable and fixed sign for the self what we inhabit means that a language base identity is inherently fragile, and ultimately illusory. That we sense the inherent fragility of our identities is what may cause us to often desperately assert such identities even though we may also sense that friendships are not only false but a chimera. It is paramount not also note that family traditions may shape the political identity and occupational identity of kids and for that matter.
Personally, I value family traditions and families because they make any given family unique and different from the rest. I also believe that if used well, family traditions and legacies have the power of supporting the development of children that are confident and health emotionally and psychologically. Looking at my example, the family values and legacy initiated by grandparents have had a huge impact on the direction the family has taken. They were able to shape the identity of father and are now shaping the identities of my siblings and I. I believe the confidence that I posses, the perceptions I hold in life, and what I stand for have been greatly influenced by my family traditions and legacies.
In conclusion, this paper has shown that the family environment plays a crucial role in influencing the identity of those kids as they grow and become adolescents and later adults. The ways in which family members operate as a social unity and relate to each other have a huge influence on the socialization, self-esteem, and cultural identity of kids. The family has a huge impact on the development of one's personality. Raising kids that are responsible and think for themselves begins at the family level. This often shapes their beliefs as well as choices in their adulthood. There is stronger connections and unity in families that take part in traditions frequently than their peers who do not. From my own experiences, I believe that if used well, family traditions and legacies have the power of supporting the development of children that are confident and health emotionally and psychologically.
Holden Martha. The Family Influence of Identity. Oureverydaylife.com 2016. Web. 1 June 2017.
Tabb Stacey. The Family's Influence on Identity. HowtoAdult.com 2017. Web. 1 June 2017.